A challenging market with export success

7 January 2020


Having been in business for over 40 years, and exporting for most of that time, Don Whitley Scientific (DWS) has established a network of distributors around the world.

DWS designs, develops, manufactures and sells laboratory equipment to 53 countries and has been a member of the Chamber for many years.

DWS operates in a somewhat niche market – its products are used in microbiology and cell culture laboratories in hospitals, contract testing organisations, universities and a number of commercial companies (pharma, food production, dairy, etc). With items costing thousands of pounds, these are not consumable items that are purchased regularly but are capital items that may require grant funding, commercial tenders or are part of managed service contracts. Getting large, heavy but fragile products to overseas customers can sometimes be a challenge but Chamber International’s export team is always on hand to help with the relevant documentation.


New Distributors

Exporting products overseas is vital to the growth of DWS’s business and a network of loyal, hardworking, committed distributors is essential. Regular liaison with existing distributors and the recruitment of new organisations to sell in different countries is an important part of the export strategy. In the last year DWS has extended its network to include distributors in two new countries.

Chamber International helped DWS to access funding to travel to South America to attend an important exhibition and meet with distributors. Chamber International also helps on a regular basis with Letters of Credit for India and carnet documentation for taking equipment into non-European countries.  Joe Walton, DWS export director said “We rely on Chamber International’s excellent service for export documents and to advise on tricky export challenges but the benefits we get from their expertise go far beyond that, as our developing business in South America demonstrates”.   


In 2019 DWS has worked closely with its best, top tier distributors to ensure they have the information, product training and marketing materials to increase sales in their particular countries. This strategy has led to a year in which export revenue has increased.

In 2020, DWS will give focus to the second tier of their distribution network. A new online, interactive tool (the Whitley Interactive Product Presentation) has been developed that may help these distributors to present all the latest information on Whitley Workstations and spiral platers. The tool is available online and as an app. The sophisticated software has been designed and programmed to DWS’s specification and works in tandem with their websites.

The Future

DWS will be launching their latest new product (the H25 Hypoxystation) early in 2020 and work is underway putting together marketing materials to share with distributors around the world. We will also be hosting a distributor meeting during the year, to provide up-to-date sales and service training.

As DWS believes that much of its success comes from a successful export business, their continuing business strategy is to work with their distributors on new product development, marketing issues, sales and service training. DWS knows that developing the knowledge, resources and sales ability of these companies creates a successful export order book for DWS in the longer term. 


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